The Best & Bizarre

Best of Sacramento 2001

On the cover
If the figure on our cover reminds you of a Nick Park or Tim Burton puppet-animation character, then you’ve got it. Creating such characters is the special talent (shall we say mania?) of Chris Sickels, the artist who gave us Mr. Bizarro. Sickels’ Red Nose Studios in Burbank ( creates puppets of wire, fabric, cardboard and wood ("whatever’s handy,” he says) and installs them in 2-D and 3-D illustrated settings for still and stop-motion animations. His work has appeared in numerous ads, videos and publications. SN&R Art Directors Andrea Diaz and David Jayne saw Sickels’ surreal sensibilities as the perfect fit for our Best and Bizarre issue and commissioned him to create a character for it—so well, in fact, that Mr. Bizarro has seemed to take on a life of his own. Explore Mr. Bizarro’s best and weirdest picks in this issue. See more of his work at

Sacramento from Sublime to Surreal
Our cover boy, Mr. Bizarro, takes us on a Magical Manichaean Mystery Tour of both the Best and Most Bizarre wonders of Sactoland. He offers up our most astute reader choices, our pickiest writer picks and his own, most piquant, oddities in the pages that follow.

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen. See the sights and meet the folks that make Sacramento much more than the state’s big-dome and world tomato capital.

Mr. Bizarro’s Guided Tour of Sactoland
Get on the bus and rubberneck the homes and historical haunts of ghosts, ghouls and just plain geeks of present and past.

Find the best hotel, haberdasher, hair salon, or place to buy a good hammer; the best boutique, bookstore and Laundromat—even where to buy designer BD/SM furniture. Go for it.

Arts & Entertainment
Out on the town, Mr. Bizarro has tickets to the best shows, musical events, ballets, poetry slams and movie theaters. He’ll show you the liveliest joints, best exhibits and events and introduce the best bands and artists around. Don’t miss it.

Sports& Recreation
Stretch yourself with our best hikes, bike trails, golf courses and other outdoor attractions—or sit there on the couch holding your remote, watching the sports channel, and learn about Sacramento’s finest athletes. There’s even a place to play nude volleyball, says Mr. Bizarro, one eyebrow raised.

Pick from our huge menu of Sactoland’s best comestibles—some pricey, most cheap, all worth trying. Get pancakes, pizza, burritos, bagels, doughnuts, sausages, smoked fish and even weasel tail!

Break up, or make up, or pick up. Get it on, or get off, or go around the bend with your baby at a sleazy sex motel. Heck, go really wild and find a great spot to get married. Mr. Bizarro shows all—but you can trust that he doesn’t tell all. No Linda Tripp, this Mr. Bizarro.